Parliamentary questions 25 November 2008E-6327/08 WRITTEN QUESTION by Karin Riis-Jørgensen (ALDE) to the CommissionSubject: Revision of the Package Travel Directive More than 25 European airlines have gone bankrupt over the last year. In each case, the victims were consumers, who ended up paying for a product they did not receive. In the light of this situation, does the Commission intend to revise the 1990 Package Travel Directive (90/314/EEC) so that it also covers the purchase of air tickets only or will it put forward new initiatives which take account of this problem?E-6327/08EN Answer given by Ms Kuneva on behalf of the Commission (8.1.2009) The Commission is of course aware that there have been several airline bankruptcies lately which have caused worry and loss for thousands of people. As implicitly indicated by the Honourable Member, consumers leaving on a package tour are protected under Article 7 of the Package Travel Directive. Under this provision organisers/retailers of package tours are obliged to provide sufficient evidence of security to be used in case of insolvency for repatriation of consumers and refund of money paid. As to consumers who do not buy packages, but merely airline tickets and who are therefore not covered by the Directive, the Commission is to address this issue in different ways. The new Regulation on common rules for the operation of air services within the Community, which entered into force on 1 November 2008, strengthens the financial criteria for the approval and validity of air carriers’ operating licences. That further clarifies and streamlines the financial monitoring of air carriers by the national aviation authorities and should have a preventive effect on bankruptcies, thereby reducing the number of passengers that will be affected by such sudden interruptions of services. Furthermore, in order to have a better view of the effects of past bankruptcies of scheduled airlines in the EU since 2000, the Commission has launched a study on the existing schemes and options concerning the consequences of a bankruptcy on passengers. Before taking any view on potential measures, the Commission waits for the results of the study it has launched, which will be available in the coming weeks. It will keep Parliament informed on its outcome. Thirdly, the Package Travel Directive is one of eight directives subject to the review of the consumer acquis. The Commission carried out a public consultation to collect stakeholders’ views and input on the need for a revision of the Directive and on the issues which require in-depth examination. There was a consensus on the need to modernise the Directive. A number of respondents also called for an assessment of the actual detriment suffered by consumers when travel arrangements fail. The Commission has therefore initiated a study on consumer detriment in the field of package travel, the outcome of which will feed into the upcoming impact assessment. One of the issues that the Commission will carefully examine is that of the protection of consumers when buying the elements forming a package separately from different websites. Subject to the outcome of the Impact Assessment, which will be conducted in 2009, the Commission may present a proposal on a revised Directive in 2010.